Mines in South Africa killed 32 people in the first half of 2021, up from 24 miners killed in the same period in 2020, a continuation of the spike in deaths that began last year at some of the deepest mines in the world, the Ministry of Mines said. industry of the country.
In South African mines, some of which are nearly 4 km deep, safety has eased from record lows in 2019, and the death toll rose by about 18% last year.
“We remain very concerned that we are still having these accidents,” David Msiza, chief inspector of mines at the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, told Reuters.
Mining injuries in the first year also rose to 1,066 from 679 in the same period a year earlier, Msiza noted, adding that isolation from the COVID-19 coronavirus means the mines were not operating at full capacity in 2020.
Collapse, including seismic events, remained a major concern for the platinum and gold sectors, while transport accidents mainly affected the coal and platinum sectors.
“In 2021, we are seeing a worsening trend in fatalities, this is unacceptable,” said Nolita Fakude, president of the Council of Minerals.
South Africa's poor mine safety performance is of concern to unions, communities and investors, and contributes to lower ratings for the country's operating companies relative to global peers.